I was always interested in textiles and art while growing up, many a weekend was spent on a new
creative project. However as a career, I followed my other passion in science and enjoyed practising
as a Paediatric Dietitian.
Throughout this time I continued to sew and do short courses in a number of textile areas, including
silk painting, pattern drafting and the good old knitwit. It was after attending a Millinery exhibition
that I realised the enormous scope of this art and I enrolled in a few short courses. I then went
on to complete cert 4 in millinery at Kangan. I had a range of fantastic teachers including Louise
Macdonald, Serena Lindeman, Kim Fletcher and Peter Jago, whose enthusiasm was infectious.
I continued working as a Dietitian, when I started my millinery business. Each year I would take off
more of my holidays around Spring Carnival (great work agreement!) and then the passion took over
and now I am only doing millinery
1. As a young lady were you attracted to hats or an era?
I was generally attracted to the current fashion, but as I sewed most of my clothes I would
hunt for interesting materials and trims. I often used upholstery materials and would indulge
My interest in hats began early in my working career. I can still remember my first hat I
bought for the races. It was from a milliner and I splurged! Yes, a few years later I pulled it
apart to see how it was constructed.
2. What was your defining moment that you decided you wanted to study Millinery
Further eg: Kangan
After a few short courses in millinery I was hooked, as I realised how many textile and
sewing techniques could be incorporated. I loved the idea of being taught by different
Milliners, all passionate and inspiring, with their own style of millinery. I had always taken
extra study as a Dietitian so, taking on further study for millinery at Kangan just seemed
3. Your collections have been unique, classic and distinguished, how do you describe
your work and what inspires you?
I aim to make pieces that are artistic, stylish and elegant. I focus on the shapes, structure
and lines within the piece and want the trim to compliment these. But I love a few special
details on a piece such as gorgeous stamen or some vintage netting
My main inspiration are the materials themselves, just seeing how they flow and how you
can manipulate them. I really enjoy experimenting with fabrics and techniques and seeing if
I can just use them a little bit differently.4. What are your favourite fabrics/mediums to use?
My favourite fabrics are vintage: Japanese hand painted silks, braids, straw clothes or fine woven
straws. I love blending these materials with contempory ones to give the hat a modern feel. I am
also fascinated how colour, colour combinations and different textures can totally change the
feel of a piece.
5, You won a 'trifecta' or 'Hat trick' on Blue Diamond day with your hats. 3 in all 3
categories taking out all the winning positions. How amazing and special is it and please
elaborate on your clients.
It was totally unexpected as I was only aware that one client was entering (and she decided to
change categories at the last moment), so it was wonderful surprise. I generally attend this race
meet, as I love catching up with people after the hectic spring carnival (and actually see a race).
The millinery is only one component of FOTF, those ladies styled their outfits beautifully, but it
was great to share in their excitement.
6. Your work is becoming more and more seen. Your work is very individual are you
aware of the following you have?
No not really, too busy with millinery and life, but with social media you get these little nice
insights when people you weren’t aware following you make a lovely comment.
7. Your enthusiasm with your hats is infectious, this must be such a rewarding career. How do
you feel making hats?
It certainly is a passion and does take over. I love the textiles, the scope within this art, the range
of learning from millinery to social media and business. You can create a piece in so many ways.
It’s great that’s it’s an art that can been worn and that when my clients are wearing a hat they
are generally having a great time
8. When designing do you have a customer in mind as your hats suit all ages?
When designing I do think about what my clients, but not necessarily their age group. Within
each collection I will include hats that will suite different face shapes, a few different themes
and different feels, so I can meet the needs for the lady entering Fashion on the Field to those
attending a business lunch during Spring Carnival. I often have in mind the current fashion and
trends and which type of outfits will go with a particular piece. But it’s even better when a client
sends in a picture and they combined the hat fantastically well, often in a different combination
then I had envisaged.
Even though I do plan each collection, some hats do evolve differently than first thought and I
will let it take me on that journey. Sometimes they are the best.
9. What are your goals and aspirations with this craft
To continue and improve, and to keep developing my own signature on Millinery. Saying yes to
projects that I hadn’t planned, such as doing a piece for The Johnston Collection exhibition and
working with various Australian artists on The Manyung Gallery Art Series.When I started, I was certainly not aware where this journey would take me and my supportive
10. What is beauty to you? Nature, City, Gallery, Coffee, what is your muse?
I love wallpaper and textile designs, they are creative but also have that element of repetition.
The work of William Morris and Florence Broadhurst are few of my favourites.
Our typical holiday is bush walking in a national park, a great way to think of ideas and be
inspired by the flora and landscape along the way. One year I swapped heels for hiking boots
straight after Oaks Day and 12 hours later we were hiking Cradle Mountain.
A good coffee and music helps too.